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White House delaying debt ceiling request

(China Daily)

08:09, December 31, 2011

HONOLULU - US President Barack Obama has agreed to delay submitting a debt ceiling increase request until next month to allow lawmakers time to consider it while they are in session, the White House said on Friday.

Under an August deal between Obama's Democrats and the Republicans, Congress is unlikely to block the expected $1.2 trillion increase request, ensuring that the debt limit will not be reached again until after November's presidential election.

"We have been asked by the bicameral leadership of Congress to delay certification in order to give both houses time to consider when the votes may occur, given the current congressional schedule," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

"The president has agreed to Congress' request to delay submission of the certification," Earnest told reporters in Hawaii, where Obama is vacationing with his family. The US House of Representatives is out of session until January 17.

The Treasury had said on Tuesday that Obama would likely seek authority before week's end to raise the borrowing limit by $1.2 trillion, under an agreement negotiated between Congress and the White House this past summer.

Congress has 15 days to vote on a resolution of disapproval for the debt limit hike once Obama submits the notification, but the president would be able to veto any such vote.

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